Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima

13 Days 1 Country 13 Cities

Your Country Explorer adventure starts in Tokyo, the most exciting metropolis in Asia.

"The whole experience was amazing. We were pleasantly surprised"

Vincenzo, South Africa

About this trip

Japan reveals its many sides, as you experience buzzing Tokyo, tradition in Kyoto, the beauty of Mt Fuji and historic Hiroshima.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… marvelling at Japan's inland sea stretched out before you, as you cross the longest suspension bridge in the world. And relaxing in the heat of an onsen bath, during your stay at a traditional ryokan on Mt Kompira.

Trip type: Hidden Journeys i

Trip code: JPHO

12 Nights


24 Meals
  • 12 buffet breakfasts.

  • 6 lunches. (including Be My Guest)

  • 6 dinners.

On-trip Transport

All transport shown.

Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Tokyo (3 Nights)

Welcome to Tokyo. Upon arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda International Airport, transfer to your centrally located hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception drink and local appetisers.

Welcome Reception
New Otani

2. Tokyo Sightseeing

This morning start your city tour with a visit to the Imperial Palace Plaza, a large park area in the centre of Tokyo. View the Imperial Palace, built on the former site of Edo Castle, it is surrounded by its original inner moat. Next visit the Meiji Shrine located in a forest that covers an area of 700,000 square metres and consists of 365 different species of tree. During lunch, enjoy a cooking class and learn how to make sushi with a Local Specialist in the famous Ginza district. Continue to Asakusa and visit the Sensoji Buddhist temple. It is one of Tokyo's most colourful and popular temples and has been rebuilt countless times since it was founded in 628, making it Tokyo's oldest temple site. Visit Nakamise, a shopping street over 200 metres long that stretches from the outer gate to the temple's second interior gate. This evening, enjoy a Japanese-style dinner at a local restaurant.

Buffet Breakfast

3. Mt. Fuji and Hakone Sightseeing

After breakfast depart on a full day of sightseeing, beginning at the Five Lakes District dominated by majestic UNESCO listed Mt. Fuji. At 3,776m, it is Japan's highest mountain and most recognisable icon. Ascend to the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji to enjoy some spectacular views at 2,300m (weather permitting). After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant continue to Owakudani via the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car ride over the forest beside Lake Ashi. In Owakudani see the volcanic activity and enjoy black eggs boiled in geysers before continuing to the beautiful town of Hakone. After an enjoyable day of sightseeing return to your hotel for a restful evening.

Buffet Breakfast

4. Tokyo – Matsumoto – Takayama (2 Nights)

Drive north this morning to visit Matsumoto Castle, one of the most beautiful and complete original Japanese castles and a great Cherry Blossom viewing spot in the springtime. Marvel at its unique timber and stone structure. Later continue your journey through the breath-taking Japanese Alps to the beautiful hillside town of Takayama. Located in the Hida Region, the town has retained a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.

Buffet Breakfast
Hida Plaza / Takayama Green / Associa Takayama

5. Takayama Sightseeing

Begin your walking tour of Takayama, known as 'Little Kyoto', and discover its Edo style streets filled with amazing attractions. Explore the Old Town, stopping en route to sample Japanese sake at an authentic Sake brewery, a Cultural Insight. Next wander through a vibrant open-air flower and fruit market (Asaichi) before continuing on to Takayama Jinya. This was a former government outpost and was in official use until 1969. It is now open to the public as a museum. Continue to the Kami-Sannomachi-suji District, home to renowned local artisans. Walk through the narrow streets and admire the ancient Japanese wooden architecture.This afternoon is free to explore this picturesque town or relax. Dinner this evening is a Regional Meal of Japanese Hida beef at a local restaurant. Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is the specific name given to beef from a black-haired Japanese cattle breed, it is known as one of the finest quality varieties of beef.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal

6. Takayama - Shirakawago - Gokayama - Kanazawa

Take a step back in time during a visit to the peaceful mountain villages and UNESCO designated sites of Gokayama and Shirakawago. Explore the village of Shirakawago, have lunch in a local restaurant and go up to the Observation Deck for spectacular views looking down on the entire village. In Gokayama observe local artisans making washi paper and try your hand at making your own, a Cultural Insight. See the unique Gassho-zukuri wooden houses; the steeply sloped thatched roofs resemble two hands together in prayer. Visit one of the houses and meet the family before continuing on to the historic castle town of Kanazawa. On arrival visit the Nagamachi District with its old and beautifully preserved samurai houses. Visit the Nomura house, an elegant samurai mansion with beautiful small gardens belonging to a high-ranked samurai family. Next discover the secrets of gold leaf painting during a visit with a Local Specialist. The production of gold leaf started in Kanazawa at the end of the 16th century and now 99% of Japan's high quality gold leaf is produced in the area. Later check in to your centrally located hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Buffet Breakfast
Kanazawa Tokyu

7. Kanazawa - Kyoto (2 Nights)

Begin the day at the gardens of Kenrokuen, rated as one of the top three most beautiful gardens in Japan and a great place to see Cherry Blossom in the springtime. Explore the ornate landscapes, temples and ponds or enjoy an Optional Experience visit to a Japanese tea house within the gardens. Later take a short walk through the Omicho market to see the local fish catch and enjoy an insiders view of everyday life in a busy coastal town. Enjoy some free time at the market to browse the stalls and to have lunch before taking the high speed bullet train to Kyoto. Later enjoy a traditional Japanese Kaiseki Regional Meal and dance performance featuring Maiko.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal
Nikko Princess Kyoto

Optional Experiences

Japanese Garden And Tea House

Experience the ambience of a traditional Japanese Tea House, located in the beautiful tranquil Kenroku-en Garden. A professional ‘tea maker’ can spend many years learning their craft, which is often presented in a ceremony influenced by Zen Buddhism. Powdered green tea (matcha) is prepared by adding hot water and mixing it with a bamboo whisk. Enjoy sampling the tea in the Shigure-tei Tea House and also take the opportunity to try some Japanese sweets. Afterwards enjoy a stroll in the garden, which is regarded as one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. NB. The price below is in Japanese Yen.

Adult Price: ¥1000.00

8. Kyoto Sightseeing

This morning visit Kinkakuji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Golden Pavilion. The Kinkakuji history dates back to 1397, when the villa was purchased by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. When Yoshimitsu died, the building was converted into a Zen temple by his son. Later, enjoy a special Be My Guest Farewell Lunch at a traditional ryokan nestled in the peace and quiet of Mt. Yoshida. The ryokan was built in 1932 by master craftsmen to serve as the second residence of the uncle of the current Japanese Emperor, Akihito. Learn more about local Japanese customs as your hosts welcome you into their beautiful home. Enjoy the pleasures of a truly flavourful and unique dining experience of Kaiseki cuisine, crafted from the very freshest of seasonal delicacies. Later continue on to the Fushimi Inari Shrine and see the tunnel of thousands of bright orange torii gates that snake through the forest up into the mountains. Then head to the Sanjusangendo Hall, a temple famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The evening is free to explore, relax at the hotel or take an Optional Experience.

Buffet Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining

Optional Experiences

Gion Corner, Kyoto

The Gion corner is a unique experience where you can observe seven of Kyoto’s traditional performing arts, all on one stage. See a Bunraku puppet play; A UNESCO listed Traditional Japanese Puppet performance. Listen to the wonderful harmonies of Koto Music, as a master plays an ancient six stringed zither using ivory plectrums worn on their fingers. Watch Kyo-Mai, an elegant and dazzling dance performed by Maiko dancers in beautiful and ornate dress. Enjoy a performance of Kyogen Theatre, a comical play portraying humorous stories of daily life. Experience Gagaku (court music), the indigenous Japanese music performed at imperial court shrines and temples. During the evening observe the art of creating flower arrangements and a traditional ‘Ryurei style’ tea ceremony. There is also a Maiko Gallery, displaying costumes, hair decorations and videos of Maiko Dancers. NB. The price below is in Japanese Yen. Transportation to/from the venue is not included in the price but local taxis are readily available and the Travel Director will assist.

Adult Price: ¥3500.00

9. Kyoto - Kotohira

This morning leave Japan's main island Honshu behind as you cross the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge, over the Seto Inland Sea to Awaji Island. Visit the Water Temple, designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando to be a sensory experience. The mountains, sky, rice paddies and bamboo groves are reflected in the stillness of the water, which has a meditative effect as you descend the steps to the Buddhist Temple below the water. Later cross to Shikoku island and after having some free time for lunch visit the Uzu-no-michi observation gallery at Naruto, a walkway beneath the Onaruto Bridge, which provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Inland Sea whirlpools. Later continue to the small mountain hot springs village of Kotohira for your dinner and overnight stay in your Authentic Accommodation, a Japanese ryokan. This evening perhaps have a relaxing soak in the hot spring (onsen) bath.

Buffet Breakfast
Kotohira Grand Sakuranosho (ryokan) Authentic Accommodation

10. Kotohira - Hiroshima (2 Nights)

This morning climb the steps up to the Kotohira-gu Shrine and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Continue with a visit to Zentsuji Temple, the birthplace of one of the most revered figures of Japanese Buddhism, the high priest Kobo Daishi. It is the 75th temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, which covers approximately 1,200 kilometres and was traditionally done on foot taking up to 60 days to complete. It is still done by many people today although modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles or motorcycles. Drive to Hiroshima via the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway, a 60-kilometre highway that links the islands of the Seto Inland Sea with nine individual bridges. Stop at Omishima Island for a fresh seafood lunch, a Regional Meal, before continuing on to Hiroshima.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal
Rihga Royal

11. Hiroshima Sightseeing

This morning take a city tour visiting the Peace Memorial Park with the UNESCO listed Peace Memorial and later the Atomic Bomb Museum. Later visit the Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum, a Cultural Insight. Then go for a Regional Meal and experience the famous Hiroshima style okonomiyaki for yourself at a local restaurant. Okonamiyaki is similar to a savoury pancake and is made with egg, cabbage, soba noodles, and meat, seafood or cheese. It is grilled in layers on a hot plate in front of you and slathered liberally with okonomiyaki sauce, with optional extras such as mayonnaise, pickled ginger, and seaweed. This afternoon catch a ferry over to Miyajima Island, otherwise known as Itsukushima, or Divine Island. On arrival, admire the elaborate gate, Itsukushima Shrine, rising majestically out of the sea, and spend time strolling through the park.

Buffet Breakfast
Regional Meal

12. Hiroshima - Osaka

Take the high speed bullet train to Osaka. On arrival enjoy a brief city orientation tour and then have some free time for lunch and shopping in the Dotonbori Street area. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.

Buffet Breakfast
Farewell Dinner
Sheraton Miyako Osaka

13. Depart Osaka

Transfer by airport shuttle service to Kansai International Airport, or Osaka Itami Airport for your onward flight home.

Buffet Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • #TrafalgarCares
    Washi paper making visit, Gokoyama You'll support a local business with a visit to a washi paper workshop. You'll watch the family at work, and test your paper-making skills for yourself.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Be My Guest
    Farewell Lunch at a traditional Japanese ryokan.

  • Local Specialists
    in Tokyo and Kanazawa.

  • Cultural Insights
    Sample Japanese Sake from an authentic Sake Brewery, learn about the production of Japanese 'washi' paper and visit the Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum in Hiroshima.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Enjoy genuine Japanese hospitality while staying in Authentic Accommodation in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn). Get the best of both worlds with the Japanese style rooms which have the added comfort of western style beds (rooms with tatami mats instead of beds can be requested at the time of booking if preferred). The ryokan features communal hot spring (onsen) baths and guests are provided with a yukata (cotton kimono) to wear.

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Splendours of Japan with Hiroshima

Your Country Explorer adventure starts in Tokyo, the most exciting metropolis in Asia.

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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, walking tour of Takayama

    • Visit the Imperial Palace Plaza in Tokyo, the Kinkakuji Temple, Sanjyusangen-do Hall and Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. Also visit the Atomic Bomb Museum, Peace Park, the Itsukushima Shrine and the Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum in Hiroshima

    • View Mt. Fuji at 2,300m

    • See the traditional Gassho-zukuri houses in Shirakawago and the beautiful gardens of Kenrokuen in Kanazawa

    • City tour of Hiroshima and Osaka

What's Included


    • 12 buffet breakfasts.

    • 6 lunches.
      (including Be My Guest)

    • 6 dinners.

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 or 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

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The Trafalgar Experience


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Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


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Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 53 Reviews

  • Trip:


    Service rating : The local artisan in Kanazawa who did the Gold leaf demo left much to be desired. The room was small, and there were 24 people and those further back than the first row could not see. There was not much organization to the presentation.Pace of walking on the tour was tailored to

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Travel Director, Kimiko was excellent and went out of her way to always smile, informative, attentive to individual needs and provide personal assistance if needed.Product : Enjoyed the wide range of dining experiences, scenery and activities. The pace of the tour was just right

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Too many pagodars & shrinesProduct : Because of lack of varied excursions I would.suggest a shorter tour. The visit to the source factory was a disaster for all. More free time would have been better.

  • Trip:


    Service rating : It was well organised and I was informed if the days activity was changed from the original. Kimono our guide was very efficient and helpful to all travellers .Product : I didn't purchase any thing.

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Good hotels, coaches, knowledgeable guide and itinerary took us to interesting places.Product : Happy with what we saw generally. Hard to know what you havent seen. Could have been improved with a tour of Tokyo at night to see lights etc. Also spent too long at Myajima - almost

Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima

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13 Days, 1 Country, 13 Cities

Splendors of Japan with Hiroshima

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Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your flights to arrive on or before day 1.

i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

    Note: Please bring an overnight bag for day 11.Gion Festival: Takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. Events and parades are held for the entire month of July.Takayama Festival is considered one of Japans best festivals to see the traditional floats in the streets of Takayama. Winter is also a good time to visit Japan with mostly mild temperatures in Tokyo and snow in the Japanese Alps (Takayama area).
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
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  • Double-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless traveling as part of a family group. 
  • Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange your flights to arrive on or before day 1.

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